Saturday, February 5, 2011

February BJP and Winter Enchantment Artbeads Project!

It's time!  I've been telling you that I've got some pretty things to show you.  I got them done today...both sets...and I can't wait for you to see what I've learned!  I've got two sets to show, one for the BJP for February, and one for my Winter Enchantment themed project, so stay tuned in for all the pics.  Here we go!

First up, I'm going to tell you about my BJP project for February.  If you read my post on last month, you'll remember that my goal this year is to learn at least 1 new beadweaving stitch per month and make a jewelry set using that stitch.  Last month I learned wire crochet.  This month it is the flat spiral.  I just adore this stitch!  I can tell that it will be one that I use quite often in the future.  I watched a video many times to get the idea of what I was going to be doing.  The video suggested 6mm bicones for the center and 4mm bicones for the edges, along with 11/0 seed beads.  I found a mix of seed beads I like called "Witche's Brew".  It's pretty and not at all witchy.  The seed beads are considered 11's, but they are smaller than Tohos or Miyukis and they are not real regular.  That meant that I had to adjust the number of seed beads I used in my set as compared to what the video said to do.  Then, I didn't want to do just bicones.  I found at that same store by me some strands of what I think is Hematite.  The beads are 6-sided, so they have a very interesting cut to them.  Although they are 6mm, they are actually a tad bigger than bicones, so again I had to adjust.  But, no problem!  I just played for a little while until I got it right.

I actually had some problems with this when I first started.  Ok...a LOT of problems. lol.  The first two times I started the side loops weren't laying correctly.  It took the third try to get the hang of it.  The first bracelet I made was entirely too huge, so I took the completed bracelet apart and started over.  Then on the necklace when i was just knotting off the final end on one of the sides, the string got all wonky and the whole thing was ruined because I couldn't get out that half-hitch knot.  I had to take it all apart as well and start THAT one completely over.  As you can imagine, I gots TONS of practice with this stitch! :)

Sometime last summer I was at a store and found a dragonfly pendant that I really loved, but I had no idea what I was going to do with.  Isn't it amazing how the perfect thing just jumps out of your stash to complete a project?  I love dragonflies.  For some reason they cause me to stop and reflect when I see one buzzing around.  It's amazing to me that here in the desert where there's no water for miles I'll just suddenly see a dragonfly.  It's seems so special that this dragonfly showed up just for me to see its beauty that I just stop and admire it.  It's almost as if they try to whisper something to me with their wings fluttering in the air.

This set I call Dragonfly at Midnight.  Things have been a little dark these days for me...personal problems that I'm sure you would have no interest in.  But what this set says to me that even in the darkness their is a glimmer of beauty and magic.  Here are some pics of what I have created for the February BJP...

Dragonfly at Midnight

I was so very excited when I finished up this set!  I think it's probably my favorite things I've ever made.  They look so gorgeous on.  The Hematite is heavy, so it's got a great feel to it...slinky but not flimsy.  As soon as I finished this up and took a step back and looked at what I did, my mood lifted and really made my day.


On to round 2!!!  I was super excited today when I finished my Winter Enchantment project for  You all know how much I love Artbeads, so any time I get new orders from them is a good day for me.

I realize that much of the country is bound tight in the grasp of terrible storms, and most of you are probably sick of snow and ice.  But for me in the desert, thinking of a winter wonderland makes me happy.  When I got the email saying what the theme was, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I used the same flat spiral stitch, but I used my favorite seed beads...Tohos.  In this project I used 11/0 Silver-Lined Crystal, and boy do they sparkle!  To compliment the side loops I used Swarovski 4mm bicones.  I searched and searched until I found the perfect focal point...a Swarovski  30mm Cosmic Ring, also in crystal.  I have always wanted to use the cosmic rings, but didn't know what to do with them.  This was the perfect necklace!  And I tell you, I was certainly not disappointed when I opened it!  It's thick and weighty, just feels good.  And the glimmer of it is gorgeous!  I have to say, though, that I'm super afraid of dropping my necklace with my clumsy hands I have and cracking that thing right apart.  I don't know how easily they would break, but I definitely don't want to find out!!!

Now, I thought about using Swarovski pearls, but I have to admit that I just couldn't afford them this go-around.  After searching for something else I came across Druk 6mm beads in Crystal Luster.  They really worked out well!  For the clasp I thought the logical thing to do would be to go with a silver one.  But something just kept nagging at me and told me to go with gold.  I just think it adds a little extra pop right there at the end.  Some people may differ with me, but I think the TierraCast Antique Gold Leaf Clasp set really did the trick.  I also used simple gold-filled ear wires for the earrings.

When Michelle put on the set I just grinned from ear to ear!  It looked so pretty on her.  I think this set is so versatile...with a little black dress for a night out on the town, dressing up a casual outfit for some real bling, and I think it would be beautiful as a wedding set.  Artbeads never lets me down.  Here are some pics for you to see.  I can't think of a name for it.  Was thinking of "Crystal Shimmer", but that sounds kind of boring.  Michelle and her sister Malissa thought the name should have something "sparkly" in it.  Do you have any ideas?
oh, bummer.  i just realized my bottom loop was pushed to the side.  guess i need to retake that shot!

Do you see how the sun just really gleams off the beads?  I love that!  I hope you all have liked what I had to show you today!  I am going to put these sets in my Etsy shop and see how that goes.  Hoping to fund some more beads.  :)

Do you like the jewelry sets I've been working on?  I hope it was worth the wait!

FTC Disclosure: has supplied me with the beads highlighted above.  No compensation has been made for my true and honest opinions of their products.


Abracadebra Designs said...

Wow Lisa, I love what you did with the flat spiral stitch. Both sets are absolutely stunning. Love, Love, Love the hematite set. I hope you keep up the bead weaving. Can't wait to see what you will come up with next.

Jan said...

Wow Lisa these definitely were worth the wait, they are gorgeous. I am not familiar with that stitch but it looks like you have conquered it very well. really lovely pieces.

Your Crystal Shimmer piece, thinking of a different title, reminded me of one of my favorite songs, Milk of the Moon. I don' tknow if it fits, but it might be one to consider.

Lynn said...

I give you a lot of credit for sticking to learning this stitch! I don't know if I would have had the patience lol. Looks like you've mastered it!

Both sets are just b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!

Robbie said...

WOW, have been busy!! NICE, NICE, NICE!!!!

Anonymous said...

Incredible! Very striking pieces! Congratulations!

Carol said...

Lisa!! Your hemitite set is absolutely gorgeous. Its really he prettiest beading I have seen recently. I'm so glad it lifted your mood, attributed to both your work and the properties of hemitite.

The crystal necklace really pops when worn. The flat pics don't do it justice.

Wonderful work.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Lisa, I like both sets that you have created. Dragonflies are also a favorite of my & I often make french beaded dragonfly plant sticks! Looks fantastic with the hematite! The second set would make a pretty wedding set-you are right.

Btw, here is the post where I showed off what I did with the artbeads card you gifted me with:

Have a great weekend!

Bellesanbeaus said...

Miss know I'm a huge fan of your work but sugar....this is the best i have seen!!! You mastered that stitch girl!!! lol both sets are almost as beautiful as you are! great job my friend...i wouldn't be able to make up my mind on which one to them both! psssttt...i like the name white ice for the white set!!! lol big hugs

Magpie Sue said...

Wow, so elegant! Especially the dragonfly set.

Whytefeather said...

Gorgeous beading, Lisa! They are all beautiful and the hematite set is stunning especially but oh I love that hematite ring. Love dragonflies too, they come out in large numbers in the summer around here and are wondrous to watch.
Glad it helped lighten your day to create such beauty! Hugs, Stacie

Robin said...

Oh Lisa!!!! These are so beautiful and so beautifully made. OMG, I'm swooning!

I especially love the idea of the dragonfly at midnight, the visual proof that beauty can be found in dark times in our lives. I need that particular wisdom right now and am grateful to have found it here in your blog (no surprise).

Robin A.

PS I'm having a lot of trouble scrolling down your blog. It's probably my computer, which is old and slow anyway...

Michelle Mach said...

What a wonderful set of jewelry! I am especially in love with that ring. You don't see hematite used that much, except in men's jewelry, so it was really refreshing to see your designs.

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